Debunking myths surrounding fashion education and industry
The fashion industry is considered to be risqué and glamorous, replete with nonstop partying, beautiful people, fashion shows and a life of pomp and razzmatazz. While some find this very attractive, the others look upon it with suspicion. Regardless, fashion continues to be one of the most seductive careers for young people.
Getting into a fashion college and studying fashion is a dream for thousands of young students. In many cases, they have argued with their parents to take admission and follow their dream career. The boys who apply used to have a harder time convincing their families, but society has opened up over the years and, of course, we have seen what great designers some men make.
What is the truth here? Let’s look at what's really happening in the fashion industry and debunk some myths around studying fashion.
Myth #1: Easy learning
Learning fashion is way more complicated than most presume. Unlike accounts, biology or math, in creative education, you have to look both internally and externally.
You have to bring out your creativity and combine it with the developments in the world to create magic. This comes from understanding consumers, trends, colour, textiles, business, advertising, and even artificial intelligence.
Everything is experiential and project-based and students spend long hours working on their ideas and creations to get it just right. Remember, unlike giving an exam where your answers are only for the examiner to assess, in fashion you are creating something for the world to see and marvel at.
Myth #2: Myopic industry
Fashion is about understanding yesterday, living today, and creating for tomorrow. The design process helps forecast trends and the industry comes together to design and create what will be desired in the future.
Imagine the excitement and anticipation involved in speculating on how people will behave in the future? How they will engage with gender, consumption, colour, texture, society, health, and nature. How technology can be integrated into clothing. How technology can help people view shows, 3D modelling, shopping etc.
Fashion trends are forecast up to four years in advance and instead of just looking at the problems of today, fashion students engage with the future of the world.
Myth #3: No disruption
There is no following the norm in a fashion college. But creativity and design are about new ideas, new notions, and new ways of seeing and doing. Fashion design students are taught to question the status quo and disrupt existing ideas and processes.
Imagine creating new fibres and textiles out of milk, corn, plastic, and crystals. Creating blogs, vlogs, and podcasts that will change the way people think. Using coding to embed technology into the drape of a garment or AI to predict what people are going to buy.
Myth #4: Wasteful practices
Fashion and style are powerful ways of communication. Today, a designer or stylist has the power to influence large numbers of people. Increasingly, issues like sustainability, consumption, gender, livelihood, and social norms are being taken up by designers and they use their profession to create awareness and change.
Myth #5: Narrowed opportunities
Fashion is a global concept and influenced by changes around the world. As a student at a good Fashion college, you will have access to the world. International Faculty, semester exchange, global study trips, international fashion weeks, projects with international context and engagement with students from other colleges around the world.
You should make the most of all these opportunities so that you can truly understand the global context of fashion, make friends from around the world, and develop a network that can help you when you start working
Myth #6: No scope for growth
In the end, everyone wants a career that they love and there is no better place than fashion to get that. Today, careers in fashion have really expanded.
The fashion industry has grown to include fashion bloggers, vloggers, content creators, curators, experience managers, fashion stylists, creative directors, photographers, editorial, artificial intelligence managers, home stylists, and much more. Once you commit yourself to the fashion world you will travel, meet interesting people and set creative targets and enjoy what you do.
So if you are interested in fashion, people, relationships, art, new ideas and beauty, and think you have the passion to follow your dreams, choose your college carefully, ask the right questions and have the time of your life. This could be one of the smartest moves you ever make.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)